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Gov. Brown says some counties will require face coverings in public amid spike in COVID-19 cases

Governor Kate Brown announced Oregon's next steps on Wednesday after a spike in coronavirus cases caused state officials to pump the brakes on reopening.

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 3:07 PM
Updated: Jun 17, 2020 3:20 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown announced on Wednesday that Oregon's next steps will include a requirement to wear face coverings in public for some counties following a spike in coronavirus cases over the past several weeks.

Brown and officials from the Oregon Health Authority issued a "yellow light" last Friday for several counties that were on the brink of entering a new phase of reopening. The Governor's Wednesday statement indicated that the new plans would include a resolution for some of those counties.

“I instituted the statewide pause because of the rising number of cases in both rural and urban communities," Brown said. "I did this to give public health experts time to assess what factors are driving the spread of the virus and make adjustments to our reopening strategy."

The Oregon Health Authority has spent the intervening days looking at data from around the state, including the source of growth in new cases and hospitalizations, the results of contact tracing, and other metrics. Brown said that she had also been consulting with health experts, business leaders, and local elected officials.

Starting June 24 — the same day that the Oregon legislature returns for a special session — Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Hood River, Marion, Polk, and Lincoln counties will require face coverings for people while at indoor public spaces. This includes grocery stores and other businesses.


RELATED: Oregon Supreme Court sides with Gov. Brown on COVID-19 restrictions


Multnomah County will be finally be approved to move into Phase I this Friday.

"While Multnomah County has seen an increase in new cases recently, the county has not experienced an uptrend in new hospital admissions, and overall hospitalizations remain well within capacity," Brown said.

According to Brown's statement, some counties will be grouped together as regional units for future reopening decisions. Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties — which encompass the Portland metro area — will be one such unit. Marion and Polk counties will also be treated as a unit, which includes the city of Salem.

"Both of these regions include a highly-connected urban area, making it difficult to monitor the disease based solely on the contours of county jurisdictional lines," Brown said. 

The entire tri-county region will remain in Phase 1 for at least 21 days after June 19 before the three counties together will become eligible for Phase 2, Brown continued.


RELATED: Oregon's Union County recommends residents return to Phase I following outbreak


"I know this impacts communities and businesses in Clackamas and Washington counties but, as we reopen our state, we must recognize how interconnected the metro area is," Brown said. “The next few weeks will be difficult, and we will be monitoring the data regularly. We are much better prepared than we were in early March. We have increased PPE, much more widespread testing, and many more contact tracers

“However, if hospitalizations spike too rapidly, if the capacity of our health care system is threatened, we will be forced to revert to stricter rules.

“Our entire ability to reopen and stay open is dependent on whether each of us follows basic health and safety protections. Stay home if you feel sick, wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands regularly. We truly are all in this together.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
Medford
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